The Kitten Come Back, An Interview With Chloe Chaidez

Kitten is an electrifying pop act that has made big splashes time and time again but for some reason has not become the stronghold in the genre yet. While that may be due to the lineup changes the band has seen, it can be said it is definitely not because of the band’s leader Chloe Chaidez. Chaidez’s vocals and energy are the punch that all Kitten releases have thrived on.

Kitten has existed since 2009 and it was never a question that the band would be successful, but rather a question of when. Chaidez has the music background and throughout her career has met the right people to propel her to the big stage.

kaitlin christy2
Photo by Kaitlin Christy.

It’s impossible to not get pulled into the crowd whether it’s for the slower and soothing songs or the high-energy ones that have crowds of fans jumping and swaying along with her.

 

The music is so synth-y, reminiscent of 70’s and 80’s music but what makes Kitten so special is while the sounds do have a consistent pop sound, the vibrancy and vivacity in the music turns it into electro pop rock.

Their debut album in 2014 was received critically but perhaps because of lineup changes that the departure of the entirety of band except Chaidez, Kitten lost some momentum. Now a new band, Kitten is back and driving fans wild again. February of this year saw a return to the norm for Kitten with the single, “I Did It!” More recently, the band released the Pink Champagne EP.
Antonio Villasenor-Baca: How did you get into music and how did the project or the band Kitten come to be?

Chloe Chaidez: Well my dad was a musician I mean he’s been a musician his entire life and he was in East L.A. punk bands as a teenager and you know when my parents had me he introduced me to a lot of classic rock I mean he’s really into the Stones and Led Zeppelin and a bunch of really great stuff so he definitely taught me all I know about rock n’ roll history I guess and yeah he taught how to play bass and guitar and I guess when I was about 14 I had a band before Kitten and then when I turned 14 or 15 I decided I wanted to kind of do my own thing which was a departure from what I was doing at the time so yeah and that’s when I signed on to Atlantic at that time and that was a long road and I was independent and now I’m back on Red Music and at the very very brief history a lot happened between then I guess my influences and then you know what kind of music I wanted to make from my start to now changed but I grew as a person cause I was so young but that’s a little brief history.

AVB: The single “I Did It!” sounds a little bit; you know there’s a bit of a departure from stuff from the first albums and the EPs. How did the line-up change affect you? How has this transition affected your sound personally as a musician?

CC: Yeah well this record is sole produced by the members of the band which is the first time that a record has been made like that for Kitten so that’s super exciting. I met the members of the band at a DIY space in Brooklyn that I was living at, it’s a venue its called the Silent Bar and I met David Stagno who’s been with me for almost three and a half years now and then he kind of invited his friends from Stanton but its been really great because this album has been very rewarding to make although it took a long long time, I knew that I was making it with people who may not have been able to make a record with any sort of budget otherwise you know or any sort of, well not that they wouldn’t have gone on to do amazing things but I think this was their first like big kind of major record. Hopefully it will be big and major, but I mean just in any capacity that’s really cool and it’s been really fun.


AVB: I mean it like personally. You say that you feel more comfortable playing in a band so what was that time when the first band members departed and why that comfort being in a band and what does it do for you?

CC: I’ve always loved the camaraderie of the band and when I was younger like I said I had even, I think when I was 10 my dad kind of put together a band with me and my friends and he was kind of Joe Jackson-ing the whole thing but I think it was at that point where I was like I really love being with a group of people and making something collectively, there’s something so rewarding about that and I feel this even when whether its our live show I’ve always wanted to include people in what I was doing and I’ve always been very inspired by I guess the rock gods and yeah that’s just something that I’ve always felt very attached to I’ve always felt like more of a rockstar than a pop star I guess or I always aspired to be you know? I guess it boils down to a rock thing of like wanting to rock out with people and the show, when you have a band it lends itself to rocking out more with other people if that makes any sense.

AVB: Yeah absolutely, and so that’s kind of an interesting I guess not a transition but a current interesting connection. How did you come up with your current sound like even with the first album comparing it to the song “I Did It!” in this upcoming album, like so you’re pop but you grew up with these punk bands and these rock gods like you said how do you go from listening to that how do your influences shape what you are now? 

CC: Yeah I mean I think when I was about 14 or 15 I started getting into more synth music and mostly from the late 70’s early 80’s and I had a producer at the time that essentially showed me all these records. His name’s Nick Johns and he was into I mean he just had every vintage record that you could ever imagine, and he was into all these old records and he actually plays in a band called the Motels and he showed me The Eurythmics and Tears for Fears and all these great bands and then I think, it’s funny because people keep saying “I did it” sounds like the 80’s but to me it doesn’t sound like that at all but my band and I have been talking about this recently like why are they saying this you know? It doesn’t sound like that, but we actually tried to veer away from a strictly 80’s sound but we realized that we just love these bands like we love this band called Prefab Sprout and I love Blackberry like I love the way that the singers of the 80’s sang and I realized that I sing like them and I love the guitar tones from that time and I’m trying to think, like to dissect why I do it’s really difficult but I remember like when I first heard “Head over Heels” by Tears for Fears I mean I had heard it before but when I first properly listened to it and put two and two together with Tears for Fears and I don’t know the production is just so luscious and also choreographed so perfectly like every part is just in it’s right space and its beautiful pop music to me and there’s still, and I think its pop music now and I’m gonna sound like such an old head when I say this but when you listen to it, it is mostly electronic like when you hear “Like a Prayer” by Madonna there’s guitar and its mixed and it sounds amazing but now all pop music is mainly electronic and that’s because its easier to mix. Mixing guitars is difficult what I’m finding and to make it sound competitive you know? Because I don’t know I’m probably getting into this too much but anyways I guess you asked why that music and I guess it just sounds like great pop music with guitar you know?

AVB: And so can you give any insight into this upcoming album like I saw on your Facebook page it has like LP 2 coming soon is that the title or is that like your second LP?

CC: Oh it’s just the second album, we have a title but we’re gonna release or announce it soon. We have a title we’re just waiting to reveal that.

AVB: Yeah so I guess can you give any other, not the title, but any other insight into the album, any other info on it any nuggets?

CC: It’s groovy. It’s sexy. It rocks. I think the lyrics are some of the best that I’ve
written or the band and I actually collectively wrote them were very proud of them so.

AVB: Has the entirety of this upcoming album been collectively with the current band or had bits and pieces?

CC: Yeah this whole album was made with the current band yeah very collaboratively too and I had never made an album that way where four people had input you know usually it was me and another person and we would be making most of the calls and then Dave came in but yeah making an album with four collective opinions has never happened in my life so this was the first and I’m really excited about that.

AVB: And what about the music video for “I Did It!,” the video’s very colorful and
eclectic can you tell me about doing that music video?

CC: Yeah I made it or my roommate directed it and that was really fun because she’s actually a sculpture, a visual artist and she took the single art for “I did it” and we were just sort of realizing that we could embark on an a creative relationship and we didn’t even know that that was, she was just my roommate at the time you know? And so I was like hey the relationship is going in that direction and she had never directed a video before I was like ‘do you want to direct this video I feel like you can do it. And we were on the same page and yeah we just we’re going for an early 2000’s like Lizzy McGuire meets Blur kind of thing and I’m really happy with it yeah. We both love color and we’ve been getting really inspired by color and wardrobe too so we just kind of relate that to the video.

By Antonio Vilasenor-Baca

 

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